On Tuesday January 22nd, Anjuli Brekke, who will be subbing for Cynthia Lin every Tuesday for the next few months, discussed a crisis with far reaching consequences, a crisis that despite its extraordinarily high casualty rate is often neglected in the media. An immense country full of resources, the Democratic Republic of Congo has been at the heart of a conflict encompassing many African countries. The Second Congo War propelled the country into a humanitarian crisis which has claimed millions of lives and the conflict persists today. The guest for the hour was Maurice Carney, Executive Director of the Friends of the Congo. He is an independent entrepreneur and human rights activist who has fought with the Congolese for fifteen years in their struggle for human dignity and control of their country. He has worked as a research analyst at the nation’s leading Black think tank, The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies and has worked with Reverend Jesse Jackson while he was Special Envoy to Africa.
According to the BBC’s profile of the DRC, “The five-year conflict pitted government forces, supported by Angola, Namibia and Zimbabwe, against rebels backed by Uganda and Rwanda. Despite a peace deal and the formation of a transitional government in 2003, people in the east of the country remain in terror of marauding militias and the army. The war claimed an estimated three million lives, either as a direct result of fighting or because of disease and malnutrition. It has been called possibly the worst emergency to unfold in Africa in recent decades. The war had an economic as well as a political side. Fighting was fuelled by the country’s vast mineral wealth, with all sides taking advantage of the anarchy to plunder natural resources.” Mr. Carney gave listeners a review of the troubled history of the Congo and how this history has impacted current struggles to gain stability within the country.
Learn more about the crisis in the DRC:
Listen to the entire interview: